Headlines: September 18th, 2001

Hard-pressed Welsh farmers can tap into a wealth of business advice as the result of a new service launched by a partnership of organisations.’Farming Connect’ will offer a free health check for each farm, designed to help farmers determine the future of their businesses, and carried out by an experienced agriculture business consultant. From this a practical business development plan can be produced.

Other strands of the service include training opportunities, technical advice services, a Wales-wide network of demonstration farms, environmental and pollution control and advice, the transfer of new technologies and information, and a range of capital grants to assist with investments on farms.

Local authorities, statutory organisations, industry bodies, colleges, research establishments and local initiatives have all been involved in setting up the service.

The Welsh Development Agency sees the new service as an important tool in ensuring that despite foot and mouth and other pressures on farm incomes, Wales has a strong agriculture business to hand to the next generation. It will link into another service, Business Connect, which is already up and running.